We left out of New River Inlet this morning about 4:30 and hit a starting point for trolling right at sunrise. It was a smooth ride out but got pretty choppy and was down right lumpy by mid-morning.
We had 30 ballyhoo rigged but decided to start with some fast trolling lures we also had rigged. Within 10 minutes we had the first fish on which turned out to be a 20 something pound Wahoo! We landed him amongst high fives around the boat. Twenty minutes later the port long line goes off, then the starboard long, then the starboard mid line and then, you guessed it, the port mid-line. We had a quad hook up and it looked like a fire drill was in progress. We manged to land 3 of the 4 fish, 2 gaffer dolphin and a small Wahoo. We released the Wahoo.
Then things go quiet for a while. Our buddy boat was yet to hook up a single fish pulling ballyhoo, so we decided to stick to the high speed stuff and cover some ground. Then two reels go to singing at the same time, we landed both, a pair of blackfin tuna!
We had a couple of short strikes, then another tuna was boated. This repeated several times. Then we had a screaming rod, over 100 yards peeled off then the reel went silent - we’ll never know but it acted like a Wahoo. Then we boated 3 more tuna during a period of about an hour.
By noon it was getting snotty so and we had to head directly into the wind/seas to get home, so we started in. About halfway in the wind laid down a bit and we did some more trolling with no luck. then a bit of bottom fishing. We caught a few nice black sea bass on roscoe jigs. We are treated to watching a Navy carrier and some Marine Harrier Jets running ops, that was very cool. There were also some helicopters in the air and one buzzed us a few times checking us out but we kept a safe distance from the ship but was close enough to enjoy the view.
Great day on the water!
It has become a tradition I look forward to every September, a treat really. A good friend of mine has an old house (circa 1890) on the Neuse River in Oriental. For several years now he has invited me to drag my old bones up there for a few days of fishing and relaxing. We target old drum, old red drum that is, the big ones, the old ones.
Some mistakenly call them BULL drum - bull drum are the large males, the females are just as big. We natives just call them OLD drum, some are male, some are female. They live to be over 50 years old and they grow BIG in their old age, real big, some are over 50 inches long and weigh over 70 pounds.
This year we chose the three days after labor day to meet and fish. We invited several other people but no one else was able to make it, there loss, we had a blast. We anchor up around 3 - 4 in the afternoon on a ledge, preferably near a point or slough and fish depths ranging from 8 - 16 feet. We use chunks of fresh striped mullet and put out bags of chum. Our tackle consists of heavy spinning gear with big #10 circle hooks, short leaders and pinned weights (these three things help reduce gut hooks). This is strictly a catch and release fishery.
I usually flounder/trout fish in the morning in some of the creeks and back waters, come in for lunch and then rest before heading back out at 3. This year I followed that routine and caught a few rat reds, small flounder and one under size spec - a baby slam if you will.
On our first evening we hooked three old red drum ranging in size from 38” to 42 inches. One was lost when it came in green and headed for the anchor line and broke off the line. Not a bad start! We were back at the ramp around 8, just after dark. On our second evening we hooked and landed two fish, a forty inch, fat drum and then a 38 incher. The first came at 5:30 and the second at around 6:45 We also caught a ray in between.
That was to be our last old drum of the trip. We tried real hard on the third night, fishing four different areas but no luck. But that didn’t spoil a great trip, we had a blast and 5 old drum ain’t nothing to be ashamed of, after all we are kind of old ourselves….......
Many thanks to my good friend Randy Durham for the invite and friendship! A sort vacation but a very nice one!